Line for Plano Job Fair Wraps Around Hotel

State unemployment rate is lower than national rate, but job seekers say they are still struggling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of North Texans lined up for a job fair in Plano aimed at connecting job seekers with employers who are hiring.

    Hundreds of job seekers attended a Plano job fair Wednesday.

    The line for the National Career Fairs event wrapped around the lobby and out the door of the Holiday Inn Express in East Plano.

    "I've been out of work for about two years," said William Babb, a former teacher from The Colony.

    The unemployment rate in Texas -- about 6.9 percent -- is better than that of the country overall, which is hovering at about 8.2 percent, and Texas is among the nation's leaders in job creation. But the job seekers said they are still worried.

    "I haven't seen the jobs," Babb said.

    However, some employers paint a different picture.

    During the depths of the recession, job fair hosts such as National Career Fairs had difficulty because they couldn't find employers who were hiring.

    Holiday Inn Express staff said they were surprised by the strong job-seeker turnout but also said the job fair had more employers -- and jobs -- than they can recall in recent memory.

    Fort Worth-based Raider Express, a family-owned trucking company, was among those looking for workers.

    "We're looking to grow and bring on as many qualified candidates as possible," said Dustin Roddy, director of recruiting.

    He said his company now offers training to potential employees, because many applying for trucking work are unemployed in other fields.

    "We're getting a lot of people coming on board -- with the economy the way it is now -- they were IT professionals, maybe retired military," Roddy said.

    Check 'n Go, was conducting on-site interviews with potential employees, such as Pamela Bevers, of Denton, who has been looking for work since late May.

    "It is hope," she said.